Another Control4 Certified Experience
The goal of most custom integrators is to blend smart home technology into a client’s residential décor as seamlessly as possible. While this approach usually works out great inside a home, it can be a little less successful within a company’s showroom where clients may prefer to see what exactly they are getting for their money.
Millennium Sounds initially took the more typical “blended in” approach with the technology in its showroom, which is prominently located along a busy retail corridor on the north side of Indianapolis. But, thanks to support from Control4’s exclusive Certified Showrooms program, the integration company recently renovated to a more forward-facing style, where Control4 equipment and its various affiliated brands are presented in multiple on-wall kiosks, under familiar categories like “Lighting,” “Music,” “Networking,” and “Security.”
Millennium was one of only 150 Control4 dealers worldwide to be chosen to demonstrate its professionally installed smart home expertise in this fashion. These exclusive showrooms were promoted heavily leading up to #C4Yourself Day, May 31, 2018, when grand-opening event in five countries and 25 markets, attracted potential new customers for ribbon cuttings, local celebrities, live music, prizes, and interactive demonstrations of Control4 Smart Home experiences.
At Millennium’s Indianapolis showroom, co-owners Bill Lehman and Matt Reeve walked guests and potential clients through their new Control4-certified space, explaining the potential of Control4 in their smart home installations. “We’ve sectioned everything out,” Lehman explained of his company’s demonstration space. “Before, we had everything integrated in, so it kind of disappeared. But, people were like, ‘I don’t get it; I don’t see anything.’ That was kind of the point, but, it was hard for people to understand what they were getting. Control4 gave us the guidelines for our certified showroom, which involved sectioning everything out.”
The company turned to a local fabricator to build the custom kiosks, acquiring the appropriate artwork and photos to bring the technology categories to life.
A tour around the room is meant to start with the “Networking” stand, as it represents the backbone of any system. Within that display, Millennium showcases a Pakedge router, switcher, and access point. In the “Music” section, the company offers a Triad One and a Triad custom soundbar, which was custom built specifically for the relatively narrow width of the display. Millennium also showcases the Triad One’s compatibility with TuneIn, Tidal, Napster, Deezer, and Pandora on a 10-inch portable controller. Under “Video Distribution,” Millennium sends content to a TV within the display itself and also to three other TVs set up in an adjoining family room showcase. These models include a Samsung Frame TV (with Triad custom soundbar and sub), a 75-inch LED TV, and a Seura mirror TV. Sources include Netflix, Apple TV, Vudu, and cable.
Under the “Lighting” display, Millennium shows what people can expect from panelized lighting, where low-voltage wires out to the home’s various lighting control keypads converge in a central location. Clients can see how custom buttons on a dimmer switch can be programmed and engraved to simplify the user interface experience; a Help button triggers panic lights and a recorded voice for older clients in need, for instance, and traditional Dinner and Party modes provide corresponding dimming levels.
Control4 thermostats with Google and Amazon integration are located under the “Comfort” category and a camera, door station, and door locks are displayed under the “Security” heading. “In this display, the door station is going to ring all of the touchscreens and then you can answer and view the cameras,” Leyman explained during a tour. “The big advantage of a Control4 touchscreen versus an iPad or tablet is that you can intercom back and forth or you can pick which room that you want to page.”
The company differentiates “Safety” from “Security,” with “Safety” explaining how door locks can send emails or texts with assigned codes to specific people. “Security,” on the other hand, shows how Millennium integrates a DSC alarm system to arm and disarm the system with a Control4 touchscreen. All of Control4’s available sensors are also on display in the Security kiosk.
Millennium went even further in its showroom setup by displaying the system’s rack out front in the showroom, with the various manufacturer brands engraved with nameplates to clarify what brands are in the stack. Above, Triad speakers are blended into a black drop-tile ceiling with matching grilles, and a couple of Ferrari red-colored models are also included to show how Triad will custom paint anything.
Although Millennium procured a local fabricator for the Certified Showroom’s display vignettes, Control4 rep Adam Gold pointed out that Control4 was willing to help supply those resources, alternatively, depending on the specific needs of their chosen dealers.
“There are different types of showrooms—storyboard showrooms, like this one, and immersive showrooms, where you’re in a large room ‘living’ with everything,” Gold said during #C4Yourself Day. “In my opinion, this tells the best story—the full flavor of what they can do in their own home. The majority of dealers did something similar, just depending on the size of their showroom, and how much room they had to dedicate to it.”
Gold also pointed out that while other manufacturers might have an experience center in one location in a major market, the Certified Showroom approach enables Control4 to have experience centers in hundreds of locations around the world, providing much more exposure for its dealers. Control4’s marketing campaign to end users is meant to create awareness of home automation and provide its dealers with leads for their investment. There’s a specific microsite that has Certified Showrooms listed and it has a prominent location on the Control4 website.
“It’s a significant investment by our dealers that we certainly appreciate,” Gold said. “It’s great for us; it’s great for our dealers. The bottom line is when their customers come in, it helps them tell a story in a certain way.”